On Father’s Day we ended up in the car park of a cemetery. This was totally unplanned. The 18-month-old decided she’d forgotten how to walk and started to do the floppy leg thing while we were out for a Sunday stroll. You know the move – I call it the toddler jelly legs. She makes her body so limp Conor Mc Gregor couldn’t lift her. So we both ended up waiting in the car until daddy finished walking the dog.
The park is attached to a cemetery which was really busy, being Father’s Day. There were loads of comings and goings. Family members wishing their dads that had passed a “Happy Father’s Day”. Some had flowers, some had Father’s Day mugs. Just anything really to put at the graveside to show their love. I was in a daydream when the toddler spotted a white balloon on a piece of string. She loves balloons and was shouting ballooooooon!
I followed the balloon with my eyes and watched it join a group of balloons, each of them on strings, at the end of which were family members of all ages. Each balloon had a message attached. There was also a huge one with “World’s Greatest Dad” on it!
I took a deep breath and watched the family walk together to their father’s graveside. They stood, let the balloons go and clapped as their messages floated off to heaven.
At that stage, I was in floods of tears in the car. But my heart was just swelling with pride, for a man I’d never met.
What a legacy to leave his family and what a special way to bring them together. True love never dies.